Somy Ali has always been vocal about her solidarity with the LGBTQAI+ community. The actor-turned-humanitarian, who is also celebrating pride month along with the rest of the world, reveals that her US based NGO No More Tears has handled many cases involving people from the community - Jyothi Venkatesh
“I made it a point to implement helping LGBTQ victims of human trafficking and domestic violence within the mission of No More Tears (NMT).
In fact, as a straight woman, I’m proud to say that I initiated the first LGBTQ Student Club in my college.
We’re taught to hate them, and we’re all products of our childhoods. As a child I was also taught that homosexuality is wrong, and it wasn’t until college when my professors opened my eyes and encouraged me to ask questions.
It was more than necessary for me to redeem my thought process and it slowly made me a huge proponent of LGBTQ rights. NMT has helped countless survivors from the community and will continue to do so,” he says.
Revealing a bit about the kind of issues rainbow people face, Somy mentions that it was at the peak of the pandemic when NMT had several cases in addition to the referrals that were there from the pre-Covid times.
“There was one case in particular where a 19-year-old young lady came out and told her parents about her girlfriend.
Her father beat her so badly that she ended up in emergency care. This survivor is now under our care and doing much better.
She and her girlfriend are living together in their own apartment and this beautiful and vivacious survivor is attending online classes studying psychology while receiving therapy under NMT’s care.
In totality since the pandemic, we’ve helped 42 victims from the LGBTQ Community,” she adds.
Recently, Somy shared a story of India’s first transgender model-actor Nikkiey Chawla on social media and a poster of The Married Woman, a film based on same-sex love.
“I’ll always support the LGBTQAI+ Community and as for Nikkiey, I absolutely love her. She is beautiful inside out and severely bold.
I’ve immense respect for individuals who’ve suffered numerous hurdles to finally find their identity and own it.
It is difficult enough to live in this world as a straight person, let alone being a member of the LGBTQAI+ Community, which is why it annoys me to no end when people make uneducated and ignorant comments like, “Why did he/she choose to be gay?”
I’ve nothing but love and respect for Nikkiey and anyone else who has the courage to take a stand for themselves,” she states.
Ask if she thinks cinema in a way helps in inspiring the society to understand and accept people from the community and she replies, “I hope it does.
I do recall when I was living in India in the 90’s, I saw perhaps one of the most beautiful films ever depicting same sex love, “Fire” and how badly the masses reacted to it.
I know we’ve had immense progress since then, but I will be fully satiated when we see same-sex couples in romantic “movies” as a norm, not a rarity.
I’m optimistic that cinema is moving in that direction. Ultimately love is love and it should be our birth right to fall in love with whomever we choose to.
I feel social media has also made a significant difference. It has given a voice and helped many from the community stand up for their rights.
Of course, we can’t get rid of the ignorant trolls, but who cares about them. They’re just cowards who were taught to hate and get off on hurting people.”